While all the hype in New England as of late has centered around the addition of former NFL MVP Cam Newton, he appears to be no lock to be under center Week One.
According to OddsChecker.com, Newton’s odds to start Week One of the 2020 season have slipped from -500 (implied chance of 83.33 percent) to -333 (76.92 percent). Meanwhile, second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s odds have increased from +450 (18.18 percent) to +333 (23.09 percent).
“Newton remains the clear favorite with the books,” said Oddschecker spokesperson Pete Watt. “However, bettors are clearly seeing some value in Stidham and rightly so.”
Both quarterbacks have been seen recently on social media working out with several of their teammates. Newton was seen throwing to Mohamed Sanu, N’Keal Harry and Devin Asiasi in California. Stidham was also spotted with Sanu as well as Brian Hoyer, David Andrews, Gunner Olszewski, Jakob Johnson and Dalton Keene.
“In the past week, there has been a slight increase in the number of wagers placed on Stidham starting the Patriots opener – 31% of bets have backed this outcome, compared to just 11% in the previous week,” said Watt. “Once pre-season is underway and the season looms closer, activity on these markets will increase and whilst Bill Belichick is a notoriously hard man to read, any indication from him on who will be the Week One QB will be jumped on by sports bettors.”
The confidence in New England around Stidham, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, hasn’t been shy. Just several days ago, Patriots broadcaster and former quarterback Scott Zolak expressed his belief that Stidham would be the Week One starter:
“I believe Jarrett’s gonna be the starter, from the people I’ve talked to,” Scott Zolak said on “Zolak & Bertrand” on Tuesday. “People that I trust, players, people tied to the team, team captains. The way they speak of Jarrett Stidham and the work he has put in.”
If healthy, Newton projects to give New England the best chance to win this season, while Stidham could benefit from another year of development. But as training camp is right around the corner, it appears to be an all-out quarterback competition in Foxboro.